Statesboro, GA, USA
I doubt that they are going to tell you if their intentions are malicious Stephen
Doubtless that is true, Grinch. I am only saying that the moral question is unanswerable without more information. I just heard a radio program on NPR today "Fresh Air" about a Muslim Cleric (a U.S. citizen) of whom it was discovered that he consorts with terrorists and has been involved in training them for U.S. attacks. If its on NPR, and not just from a politically conservative pundit, I think its worthy of consideration.
you have to decide whether you trust them or you donít by either presuming good intentions or bad.
I do? hmmm. I always thought that suspension of judgment was a live option ... especially for someone who doesn't know much about the Islamic group in question, nor lives in that local community, nor has any real voice about the matter one way or another as regarding plans or prohibitions ... like yourself.
isnít claiming agnosticism on the subject the equivalent of admitting disbelief and mistrust.
disbelief in what, whom?
As to mistrust ... I would try and follow the "harmless as doves wise as serpents" approach. This certainly has its difficulties, in that it is neither an open-arms approach without conditions, nor a hateful vengeful stance that would admit no possibility of exceptions to popular demonizing. The just path is the hardest to hold, I'm sure.
Wouldnít it be wise to oppose the Mosque if you donít trust the people who are in favour of building it?
Wisdom would never make a rash judgment, that much I know.
Not knowing the character of a person, or a group, and being slow to answer your moral question on a forum, is quite different than "not trusting". It seems you are trying to advance me to a position that I don't currently hold.
Taking it even further, should those people even be allowed to roam free in your country if you canít trust them?
don't take me further when you've already taken me too far.
It's not my job or yours to determine what makes one a U.S. citizen. Anyway, I thought you were now asking the moral question concerning the mosque, not the legal one.
So what are the facts you have about these particular people that would lead us to believe that they mean more harm than, say, a group of Christians at the same spot?
Nothing in particular Bob, except the fact that I know Jihadism to be a much more commonly held belief within Islam, than Christian Zealotism is within Christianity. And By the latter, I am not referring to those who wish to "advance the end times" or believe in a millennial reign of Christ, but rather those who would actually take action by taking the lives of others.
Add to that the fact that there was this kind of blood spilling on the very spot where the mosque in question is going, by Muslim extremists. It's hard not to be guarded of a healing wound site.
Again, I am not one to say that it should be forbidden. I was answering Grinch's question of whether it was right or wrong. And I only said as much as "that depends".
What evidence do you have that this Mosque is actively that particular sort of mosque as opposed to any new Christian church in the area being an actively Millennialist Church which is seeking to bring about the end times? Is one more dangerous than the other?
Firstly, I already said unequivocally that I didn't have evidence either way.
Secondly, The Dispensationalist Christians I think you are referring to are not dangerous at all ... Unless you'd like to cite some examples of mass violence that would support your lumping together of only superficially-similar patterns of belief.
Jihadism says that Sharia Law is brought about by force. Dispensationalism says that God's rule in the earth is brought about by God himself and a much more passive inauguration by the Church (prayer and good deeds), though there are many who feel that the U.S. should support the Israeli state, they have not participated in anti-Islamic aggression or anything like "911". Having been a part of several "dispensational" evangelical churches, (though I am critical of a good bit of dispensational theology myself) I can vouch that at its simplistic and annoying worst, it is not actually comparable to Islamic Jihadism. Not even close. Not even close to close to close.
And is the danger such that Americans need to start putting limitations on freedom of religion?
Did I say they should? Only, I would say, if religion equates itself with being violent to the U.S. government or U.S. citizenry, by its words or actions.
Perhaps we ought to outlaw all public worship or houses of worship and throw a huge tax on them all, so we would be free of this terrible threat? Maybe we should only close down churches that don't agree with your particular brand of Christianity? What do we do?
gimme a break Bob. Did I come anywhere a lightyear close to suggesting religion should be outawed for disagreements? The question of whether someone is aligned with terrorist acts transcends religion in this thread ... simply because it could have been any group of common interest, political, religious, or otherwise. The religion question here is ancillary/ secondary to this particular discussion. Couldn't we just as easily have been discussing whether a Nationalist-Socialist convention center should be erected in Oklahoma City?
Religion, I would suggest to you, is inherently a destabilizing social force
Actually Bob, it's only certain kinds of religion that destabilize society. If religion was so destabilizing, shouldn't a social darwinism of some kind have eliminated it by now? (wink) Taking a lump-all-together kind of view like this, in the negative, has not been typically your way. I myself don't think its reasonable given the historical positive testimony surrounding good religious community, and the value of a unifying story. You should see such value since your own religion, theistic or otherwise, provides you a vision of society which functions under a vision of Americanized Pluralism, from which to base your own attitudes toward others ... which I notice is quite respectful.
and the only way to allow it to function in a stabilizing way is to allow it free expression without allowing it entrance into the government. That is what I'd proposed as my thesis, the constitutional one, freedom of worship, separation of church and state.
Just wondering why your (non-theistic) religion is the political philosophy of the state, while the others are openly limited in their influence of policy?
Remember that the political philosophy of this nation has always a priori assumed something higher than the state, upon which human rights and responsibilities are based, lest the state become absolute, corrupted, and tyrannical. Hence, "separation of church and state" (a phrase, which interestingly cannot be found in the constitution, but was in a letter of Thomas Jefferson to a Church) can hardly be as simplistic as you state it here.
Let them have the Mosque, and bless them. Build a church next door if you want.
But surely if either group is stockpiling weapons, consorting with terrorists, training americans to be terrorists, or teaching that violence is a religious duty, you would think that we should treat them according to the same rules that apply to all?
I'm stating nothing outside of that, other than my personal belief that condoning or even committing violence is a more natural interpretation of the text of the Koran, than of other religious texts, particularly the New Testament. And that we have had a recent history of Jihad Terror on the very spot in question ... such would, by any measurement of prudence, demand looking at closely. Though charity and hope would ask that we not resort to hatred, fear, or prohibition automatically.